The newly revamped Certified Financial Planner pathway was the "crowning success" for the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment last year, according to the incoming chairman of its financial planning forum committee.
Amyr Rocha-Lima, partner at Holland Hahn & Wills and incoming chairman of the CISI Financial Planning Forum Committee, said a growing number of financial planners were "determined to undertake ‘proper’ financial planning" before getting to grips with investment and regulated product knowledge.
He said: "Because only then can they be confident that the consumer will end up with an outcome that fits with their desired lifestyle and individual needs."
The professional body has recently redesigned its Certified Financial Planner pathway with a two-part structure, which Mr Rocha-Lima said was designed to give participants a more "comprehensive grounding" in financial planning.
The revamp came after the CISI admitted in 2018 the route towards the qualification was not "fit for purpose" and the syllabus needed to be completely redrawn.
Mr Rocha-Lima said: "Feedback on the course so far has been overwhelmingly positive, according to existing certified financial planner professionals, budding paraplanners and aspiring financial planners alike.
"The revamp of the CFP has undoubtedly been a crowning success for the CISI in 2020, and I’m delighted to see it continue to gain traction.
"We now have many more advisers on track to achieve the level 7 grade in advanced financial planning, which is the highest qualification in this field currently available in the UK."
He also praised increased engagement with the financial planning community, pointing to the number of members in the CISI financial planning forum growing by 43 per cent from 4,637 to 6,670 in the past 12 months.
Mr Rocha-Lima added: "One of the CISI’s main goals for 2021 will be to expand existing interest in the certified financial planner pathway and encourage others to join the global financial planning movement.
"We’ll be closely supporting wealth managers and financial advisers who want to expand their knowledge, broaden their portfolio of financial planning services, and differentiate themselves from the competition."
This year saw a change of hands at the helm of the CISI, with head of financial planning Jacqueline Lockie leaving the professional body after four years.
Sally Plant moved into the top spot, promising to help raise the profile of financial planning among the public.
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